Council boss quits after Arthur Labinjo-Hughes death
The boss of Solihull Council has quit following criticism of the authority in the wake of the killing of six-year-old Arthur Labinjo-Hughes.
Nick Page’s resignation comes just days after a damning report into the state of children’s services at the authority which found that children were facing “significant harm” due to delayed responses.
Its children’s services were rated inadequate in the inspection published by Ofsted.
Labinjo-Hughes was murdered in June 2020 by his step-mother Emma Tustin, who poisoned, starved and beat him during the coronavirus lockdown period.
She was jailed along with Labinjo-Hughes’ father Thomas Hughes who was found guilty of manslaughter.
Page wrote a letter to staff at Solihill Council, which read:
I write to let you know that after eight years as Chief Executive for Solihull Council, and 34 years of public service, I have decided to step down from my role with immediate effect.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve our elected members and residents. Alongside our parish and town councillors, residents and activists, their support and challenge, guidance and on occasion, patience with me has meant a great deal.
When I reflect on what you have achieved over the last eight years, I see so many brilliant things that you have delivered for the people of Solihull and the region.
I’m proud of the West Midlands Combined Authority and securing a devolution deal with the Government. This has gone a long way in ensuring that our economy grows in depth and breadth, providing real jobs and careers for people in Solihull.
Our work in the pandemic was quite simply incredible. Whether it be getting support to our vulnerable residents, ensuring our businesses could survive, our testing programme, our support for our care providers, setting up the Nightingale and temporary mortuary, repatriating travellers from the USA, working with partners locally and nationally, your work set Solihull apart.
Schools and the college, the skills offer, the improving support for children and young people with additional and quality of life needs will guarantee the future.
I recognise just how much time, effort and money is invested in children’s social care. I have experienced first-hand the complexity of the challenges ahead and have no doubt that the new leadership will bring the necessary changes and improvements that must be made.
The finance, business, IT systems, communications, democratic, legal and HR support services provide Solihull with the tools to thrive.
The memories of spending time alongside so many of you with our residents and service users will stay with me forever. Everything, from digging trenches and clearing up after floods, checking restaurants, helping school crossing patrols, to picking up the lives of the most vulnerable people from here and abroad that have fallen apart, counts so much.
No matter what your role, you help make people’s lives better, day in day out. You are a great team.
Thank you for letting me have the privilege and honour to lead and work with you.